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Cost Is a Top Factor in Registering for Recreational Team Sports

Cost Is a Top Factor in Registering for Recreational Team Sports

According to a recent poll conducted by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), when registering for recreational team sports, Americans consider these top three factors:

■  SCHEDULING, 50 percent of respondents

■  LOCATION, 47 percent of respondents

■  COST, 43 percent of respondents

Cost ranks as the largest consideration of those with an income between $35,000-$50,000 (54 percent) or those whose income is less than $35,000 (44 percent.) For those making less than $35,000 per year, registration costs and equipment costs trumped all other considerations. Per the 2017 U.S. Census, nearly one in three households earn less than $35,000 per year.

“The gulf between the haves who can pay to play and those who cannot is wide and growing wider. Everyone, especially youth, deserves great recreational opportunities,” said Barbara Tulipane, CAE, NRPA president and CEO. “Public parks and recreation are vital to providing these opportunities for healthy recreation to everyone,
regardless of their ability to pay to play.”

Park and recreation agencies across the country are committed to providing cost-friendly, convenient options to individuals and families that are interested in recreational team sports. Nearly 90 percent of agencies nationwide offer team sports, such as baseball, basketball, and swimming. Those interested in learning more about these activities, are encouraged to visit their local park and recreation center where there are opportunities for everyone, including children, seniors, and people with disabilities.

For more information about NRPA, visit www.nrpa.org.

The above article was adapted from information provided by the NRPA.

Organizations That Provide Assistance to Amputees for Athletic Equipment, Sports Prostheses, and/or Training

Challenged Athletes Foundation

www.challengedathletes.org

OPAF

www.opaffirstclinics.org

Angel City Sports

www.angelcitysports.org

Who Says I Can’t Foundation

www.whosaysicant.org

IM ABLE Foundation

www.imablefoundation.org

Amputee Blade Runners

amputeebladerunners.com

Little Buddy Foundation

www.littlebuddyfoundation.org

How Team Sports Change a Child’s Brain

Adult depression has long been associated with shrinkage of the hippocampus, a brain region that plays an important role in memory and response to stress. Now, research from Washington University in St. Louis has linked participation in team sports to larger hippocampal volumes in children and less depression in boys ages 9 to 11.

“Our findings are important because they help illuminate the relationships between involvement in sports, volume of a particular brain region, and depressive symptoms in kids as young as 9,” said Lisa Gorham, lead author of the study and a senior majoring in cognitive neuroscience.

“We found that involvement in sports, but not non-sport activities such as music or art, is related to greater hippocampal volume in both boys and girls and is related to reduced depression in boys,” Gorham said.

These relationships were particularly strong for children participating in sports that involved structure, such as a school team, a non-school league, or regular lessons, as compared to more informal engagement in sports, according to the study, which is published in the journal Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging.

The findings raise the intriguing possibility that there is some added benefit of the team or structured component of sports, such as the social interaction or the regularity that these activities provide, said Deanna Barch, PhD, senior author on the study.

The study is based on a nationwide sample of 4,191 children 9 to 11 years old from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study.

While other studies have shown the positive impact of exercise on depression and the link with hippocampal volume in adults, this study is among the first to show that participation in team sports may have similar antidepressant effects in preteen children.

It’s important to note, wrote Barch and Gorham, that these results are correlational, not causational. It could be that participating in sports leads to increased hippocampal volume and decreased depression, or it could be that children who are more depressed are less likely to engage in sports and also have smaller hippocampal volume. Either scenario could have important implications for understanding childhood depression.

“The fact that these relationships were strongest for team or structured sports suggests that there might be something about the combination of exercise and the social support or structure that comes from being on a team that can be useful at preventing or treating depression in young people,” Gorham said.

Confirming the impact of team sports on brain development and mood would provide strong support for encouraging children to participate in structured sports that provide both exercise and social interaction.

For information on a variety of sports opportunities for amputees, visit www.livingwithamplitude.com/resource-directory.

The above article was adapted from information provided by Washington University.

IMAGE: corund / stock.adobe.com

 

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